Former Stanford Star Ryan Nelson Signs to Play in England

Jan. 7, 2005

Stanford, Calif. - Stanford soccer alum and New Zealand international captain Ryan Nelson has signed to play for Blackburn of the England Barclays Premiership. The 27-year old defender will become the first former Stanford player to play at the top level in England. Nelson has spent the last four season's with D.C. United of Major League Soccer, helping the team capture the MLS Cup last year.

Nelson joins Blackburn after impressing the club in trials, and will be sent to England on a free transfer from his MLS side. He has been an international regular for his native New Zealand and has been a solid performer for D.C. United over the past four seasons, being selected to participate in two MLS All-Star games.

Nelson spent two seasons on The Farm, earning All-MPSF Second Team honors in 1999 and First Team All-Pac-10 honors in 2000. He helped lead the Cardinal to the NCAA Tournament twice, including a quarterfinal appearance in 2000.

Nelsen becomes the second international captain to join Blackburn Rovers in four days, as the team signed South Africa's Aaron Mokoena earlier this week. The squad currently stands at 16th in the Premiership table, with four wins and 10 draws.

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